POLLI-BRICKS reduce plastic bottle pollution

Plastic pollution is a huge problem. Most everyone has heard of the floating plastic islands in our oceans (the biggest is in the Pacific Ocean, but there are several others), all of which are made up of plastic bottles, wrappers, bags and other plastic waste that can float. They don’t break down. They only break into smaller pieces, which are still plastic and continue to pollute over time. For a wonderful primer on the subject, check out Dianna Cohen‘s talk at TED about it.

MINIWIZ, a Taipei company, has come up with an innovative “brick” design they call POLLI-BRICKS. They’re made from 100% recycled PET polymer (plastic bottles) collected from plastic waste reservoirs. This means that instead of ending up in the floating plastic islands, plastic waste can be re-purposed into bricks that can be used as building materials. Because they’re hollow and translucent (but not transparent, for those concerned about privacy), they have inherent thermal insulation, offer natural lighting during the day, and can be embedded with LED lights and solar panels for night lighting. They’re also durable, fire-resistant, interlock readily, and can be manufactured on-site. Check out the two videos embedded below, one recorded at CES by InfoWorld, and another showing how sturdy a small bridge built out of these bricks can be.

There are more videos posted on the MINIWIZ channel at YouTube.

[via Greenopolis]


Turning trash into usable products

Ann Wizer from XSProject Foundation (as in “excess”) is making custom-designed bags and other products from non-recyclable plastic waste found in Indonesia and the Philippines. She buys the raw materials from trash pickers, whom she pays at above-market rates, and, using trained artisans, creates beautiful products from trash that would be clogging landfills, streets and waterways in those countries.

Through its work, the Foundation is protecting the environment, reducing poverty, and teaching locals how to sustain themselves through the work of their own hands. The end results are beautiful, as you can from the photos and the embedded video below. The cause is noble, the work is noble, the means are innovative, sustainable and ennobling, and so I think Ms. Wizer and her XSProject Foundation deserve our applause for the wonderful work they’re doing.

Embedded video from CNN
Turning trash into usable products (CNN)




* I would have linked to their online catalog of products, but at the time of writing this, it seems to be down.

Images used courtesy of XSProject Foundation.